Made in Abyss Final Episode (13): So tragic

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Well, this series certainly made use of the double episode for this finale. The “hot springs” scene felt a little bit like filler, but pretty much every other moment felt meaningful. This series was definitely an enjoyable watch for this season.

While Mitty’s condition certainly was tragic, I’m not sure how I feel about her post-curse immortality. It makes her much more pitiful, but I was expecting something different. I was expecting the fact that Nanachi hadn’t killed her to be an expression of Nanachi’s desire to maintain her own humanity. If she’s unwilling to take the life of her friend, she would prove that the curse hadn’t taken away her humanity as advertised.

Although we didn’t get too much of an introduction for Bondrewd, he certainly seems like an interesting character. When you really think about it, he has the same fascination and longing to explore the Abyss, but he explores in a different way. His character type isn’t too uncommon, but it becomes a bit more ambiguous in the setting that this series has presented, making him a curious case.

Given that we saw part of Riko’s dream last week, I was more receptive to the idea that her recovery was linked to Mitty’s death. I like that Riko was able to communicate with Mitty in some way right before Mitty ultimately died. Though it’s not explicitly stated, she probably gave Nanachi some closure and comfort about the decision to kill Mitty.

And so another ally joins the quest. This really did feel like a logical stopping point for this season. It had that “ending but also beginning” feel to it. That scene with the balloon at the end was also pretty cool, putting into perspective how far the main characters had come.

One final note: I didn’t notice until this scene at the very end, but Nanachi’s house somewhat resembles Mitty. The left window is fine, but the right window is messed up, similar to the situation with Mitty’s eyes.

Final Score: 8.5/10


Made in Abyss Episode 12: Learning the ropes

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This episode’s climax wasn’t really the development I was expecting as setup for the final episode, but I have to admit that it makes sense. Having Nanachi join the group is a very reasonable stopping point for this series and Mitty is really the only thing holding her back. The “dream” scene with Riko also seemed to support this. It looked as though it was showing a crying Mitty looking pleadingly at Riko. Perhaps that was meant to indicate that Mitty also wants to end her suffering.

That being said, I have to say that the explanation about the Curse was the most interesting piece of the episode for me. The cloth made for a good demonstration of how it works and I liked that it tied into the forcefield that has been mentioned on multiple occasions. Since the forcefield was relevant to other phenomena in the Abyss, it’s cool to learn that they’re all actually connected.

I also liked the idea of linking the forcefield’s movements to changes in consciousness. It was a really nice way to give a concrete reasoning to the danger of the lower layers.

The part that I didn’t really understand in this episode was the return to Kiyui at the top. I acknowledge that it addresses a question I posed much earlier in the series, but it still seemed…random? I’m sure there’s some deeper purpose that I’m missing, but I just couldn’t understand the timing of the scene. It seemed to end pretty simply too, suggesting that the cause of the mysterious illness was just the Abyss.

Part of me is wondering whether it’s meant to contrast with the explanation of the Curse. The people on the surface were really quick to accept that Kiyui’s recovery was just a quirk of the Abyss. However, the explanations in this episode seem to suggest the opposite. They suggest that the series is truly willing to explain itself even if things look “magical”.

Made in Abyss Episode 11: Fetch quests

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I guess this week’s episode was a bit of a breather after last week’s episode. We got a bit more of an introduction of Nanachi, who seems to be a pretty interesting character. Although Nanachi was overtly teasing Reg, I still got the sense that the “looming danger” to Riko’s life was very real…even if Nanachi insisted on downplaying it.

My only real complaint was about the repetition in the opening of the episode. From how it started, I was hoping we’d get to see more from Nanachi’s perspective, but we only really saw that she was watching Riko and Reg. That alone might have been good enough, but Nanachi specifically explains later that she was watching the whole time.

Reg’s fetch quest ended up being a bit interesting. It stood out to me because it’s really the first time he’s been able to work alone in the Abyss. The fourth layer that was so treacherous last week seemed more tame without Riko as added baggage. I’m not sure whether to attribute it to the lack of dead weight or to the instructions from Nanachi.

Nanachi’s past seems pretty intriguing too. The flashback this week seems to imply that White Whistle influence may be involved in her special condition as a “thinking” Hollow. I also like that she comes off as being deceptively serious. It seems like there’s a lot of truth behind what she says as jokes. Maybe that’s just my impression.

There’s also a brief memory sequence from Reg. It seemed to suggest that he was responsible for the grave marked by Blaze Reap. The fact that Reg brushed it off actually has me wondering a bit. Could Lyza really be dead?

As a final note, the last scene in this episode feels like another cheap cliffhanger. Sure, Mitty seems like she’s advancing on Riko, but I’d be really surprised if there’s any real danger.

Made in Abyss Episode 10: Turning it up

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It seems like the “fun” is over now. Sure, Riko and Reg have been in danger before now, but this week’s episode really sold the harshness of the Abyss. It went to a level I really didn’t expect, one that I admittedly had some difficulty watching. But we’ve heard so much about the dangers of the Abyss…it’s about time it delivered on these inexperienced cave raiders.

I just wanted to make a quick note on this scene. Since it’s a Japanese scene, I might be reading too much into it, but it worked as foreshadowing for me. Vinegar is typically associated with a sour taste, and you can kinda say this episode is where things went sour. Vinegar is also fermented, so maybe it’s universal enough as a concept.

I really don’t have much to say about Riko’s suffering…it was pretty gruesome.

But overall, I guess all of this torment is meant to give Nanachi a way into the cast by saving the day. I don’t think she could have come at a better time. Given that she’s been surviving in the fourth layer alone, she must be skilled. Adding her to the group makes their trip way more believable.

I’m curious about her statement regarding the Curse, though. She made it sound like she’s able to “see” the Curse’s influence. I wonder that’s supposed to mean. Anyway, maybe we’ll find out next week.

Made in Abyss Episode 9: Once more into the brink

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This week’s episode was a good display of what Riko and Reg learned from Ozen. That being said, I’m a little skeptical about the fact that Reg immediately uses his laser after the warning from Ozen (which even showed up in a flashback). I get that he was trying to be decisive and everything, but I would have expected more attempts to fight without it. Maybe they still weren’t deep enough for Riko to be completely helpless.

The confrontation with the monster from the beginning of the series is a good indication of the true start of the journey. The two go from being woefully underprepared to being somewhat competent, and they prove themselves by eliminating the first obstacle they ever faced together.

I also thought it was interesting that Riko got the chance to fend for herself without Reg. It sets the stage for the times to come. Based on what we’ve heard so far, the series suggests that Reg’s cooldown time is just a period of no progress for the main characters. However, this first time seems to indicate that it can’t be so easy.

Maybe I’m just reading too much into things, but I would have preferred if Riko was the one using the pickaxe at the end of the episode. It just seems a bit like a cheat if Reg wakes up just in time to save her, especially since Ozen took the time to teach Riko how to use the axe. Either way, it was a good episode overall. In particular, it (specifically the monsters) looked a lot better than some of the previous episodes.

Made in Abyss Episode 8: Off again

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I wasn’t expecting the training session to go by so quickly. I don’t have a problem with it…trying to explain a bunch of cave-raiding skills probably wouldn’t have been too interesting. But I’m surprised that Ozen role is already done, especially since her flashbacks in this episode were pretty sad.

I’m not sure what to make of Ozen’s comment about potential time dilation in the lowest layers of the Abyss. I guess I just don’t understand what it’s supposed to contribute. Does it only exist to give Lyza a better chance of survival? Is it supposed to set up some future scene where Riko joins Lyza at around the same age? It doesn’t feel all too impactful to me.

The introduction of the other White Whistles seemed interesting. Given that Bondrewd was specifically called out by Ozen, he’ll likely be a future obstacle for the main characters.

I don’t really have a problem with giving Riko a weapon as well, even if Ozen made it sound like she can only use it a few times. I suppose it’s meant to mirror the Incinerator.

This scene was probably the strangest one for me. I’m assuming that Ozen is just giving Riko and Reg some tips for their adventure, but it seemed like such a short scene for something potentially important. Maybe the show is trying to keep those parts obscured, but I guess we’ll have to see if they amount to anything. There’s definitely no way I’ll remember this when they reach the appropriate layers for the tips to actually matter.

Made in Abyss Episode 7: Testing grounds

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The big reveal in this episode was pretty nice. I think it explains why everyone was so okay with letting Riko journey into the Abyss. They would have been aware that Ozen was Lyza’s mentor and that Riko is effectively dead already. I wasn’t sure what to make of Ozen before this episode, but I’m glad she’s here to prepare Riko and Reg for the Abyss.

I think this scene was my only real issue with the episode. This scene felt more like a forced cameo than an actual contribution. Habo’s ominous line about the vessel and Riko’s secret would have made more sense if it didn’t happen immediately before Ozen tells Riko everything.

I’m also curious about this idea that White Whistles are trump cards. Why exactly is it so dangerous to give away a White Whistle’s special abilities? Who are they being protected from? Jealous competitors?

I only have on question about the Curse-Repelling Vessel. Ozen states that Riko is half-correct about the curse-repelling part. Does that mean that the vessel actually blocks the other negative effects of the curse? Ozen’s description made it sound like it doesn’t do anything to defend against the curse other than reanimate the dead. I’m just curious.

Ozen’s secret was a bit of a disappointment for me. I don’t think it’s a problem because it makes sense with her personality, but I was expecting her condition to come from something more than self-experimentation. Maybe I was thinking about her the wrong way.

Also, it took me a second to realize that Reg “went limp” as Riko woke up because of the backlash from using his laser.

Meh…I guess this is only fair.

Made in Abyss Episode 6: What’s in the box?

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This episode ended up being a pretty fun. There was a decent amount going on despite being a bit less-focused on showing the Abyss. The world was developed a bit more with a tour from Marulk.

Ozen was also a pretty interesting introduction…she’s definitely got the creepy feel to her, but there’s clearly more to her than that if Lyza trusted her to carry Riko out of the Abyss. If I had to voice a complaint, it would probably be regarding the repeated scenes in the beginning of the episode, but that’s not a new one for me.

Riko’s vomiting incident in this episode was pretty interesting because of how prevalent it was despite being in the background. Ozen starts out by explaining that it’s a side effect of the curse and then makes an off-hand comment about Riko’s smell.

Usually, this would be the point where the joke dies, but it gets brought back when Riko hears about the bath in her room. At no point does she ever say anything like “I have to get rid of this smell”. She just jumps at the opportunity to clean herself up right when it is presented.

Reg also continues to be a fun contradiction too. He’s unnaturally frightened by the idea of a ghost, but he’s also the very reason that Riko has survived as long as she has.

While it might seem a bit mean to Riko, I didn’t mind watching Ozen take her down a peg. Riko’s rushing down to the abyss because of a pretty tenuous reason, so it’s nice that an adult finally calls her out on it. Though, it also makes me wonder why the other adults are not only okay with it but also unable to recognize Lyza’s handwriting. I mean…weren’t there notes in the journals that were brought back?

We got a bit of a fun cliffhanger at the end of the episode. I’m not sure whether I’m more interested in the box or the monster that Riko saw, but maybe we’re about to learn some cool secrets of the Abyss next week.

Made in Abyss Episode 5: New old powers

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Well, the Abyss still looks like a cool place despite the fact that this episode seemed to focus on the reality of the food chain in it. It’s a bit odd that Reg always seems so much more expressive and reacts more naturally than Riko does when he’s supposed to be the robot. When the episode focused in on his thoughts and doubts during his attempt to rescue Riko, he seemed very human. It’s really tough to believe that he’s really a robot.

The return of the laser ended up being pretty quick. It brings up certain questions about how effective it will really be, but at least it makes Riko’s survival in the Abyss a lot more believable. I’m guessing that the scene where Reg passes out from firing the laser is also meant to be a bit of a reversal. It’s probably meant to show that Riko can support Reg as well.

This week’s main monster probably looked the most reasonable out of the monsters that have been introduced so far in this series. At the very least, I didn’t notice anything crazy while watching the monster move. I don’t think I can say the same for the monkeys, though.

Anyway, next up is meeting Ozen. I’m sure it’ll be interesting since White Whistles have been subjects of great praise so far in this series. Given Habo’s warning, Ozen might be the contrast to that perception. I’m curious to see how that turns out.

I have a random question about this end card. Riko and Reg are always shown separately in the diagram despite being in the same spot every week. Will there ever be a point when they’re actually separated on this map?

Made in Abyss Episode 4: First day in the deep

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It felt like a lot of this episode was giving us a good look at the first layer (looked pretty nice too). Not a whole lot happened, but I liked how the episode messed with standard perceptions. We spend an entire episode worrying about how Riko and Reg will be able to escape the human cave raiders sent to bring them back. But when one appears, he acts as an ally who supports them on their way.

At the end, there’s this huge feeling of relief from Riko, but in reality, it’s more like the start of the danger. The whole episode basically frames around a simple idea, but reveals that it’s nothing compared to the true gravity of the situation. We also see this in the way Reg casually brings up that Leader saw through him.

While I’m on the subject of Habo, I want to go on record and say that it seems odd that he would support Riko. Sure, he would best understand what she’s trying to accomplish, but he would also best understand how daunting the task is. With the children, I could rationalize it by saying that kids don’t understand, but Habo can’t really use the same excuse.

Was I the only one who thought the jumping spider monster looked really strange? It was like there was some kind of weird blurring effect that I think I noticed in the bird near the end of the episode as well. Not only that, the actual jumping of the spider didn’t look like it was going as far as it was supposed to go.

Final question: what’s up with the compass? Is it supposed to be some kind of throwaway? I don’t understand how a compass that always points down is ever useful. It did get lost in the river in this episode, but I’m not convinced that it’s gone for good. It just feels like too much time has been devoted to it already. It has to be important, right?